MC2

Perspective

4 posts in this topic

Perspective

This is something I've long considered, but has become more apparent the more I've learned.  Religions such as Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc, teach the importance of maintaining a dualistic perspective..."be good, not bad".  Religions such as Buddhism, (as well as all these other modern esoteric copycat philosophies) teach the importance of eliminating the concept of dualism altogether.  I would like to offer a third option, however...  Perhaps I've moved beyond dualism to the point of "quadrism" (I just made that word up), but after careful consideration, I've found each one to contain their own unique forms of dualism...being both equally beneficial as well as detrimental.

Let's begin with the ever popular dualism of "Good vs. Evil":

I believe that "Good" always originates from our own selfish perspective, while "Evil" always originates from someone else's selfish perspective.  For example, Satan...someone who has long been perceived as "evil", surely perceives himself as "good", and justified in all his actions.  As a result of his "fall from grace", I'm quite confident that, at least according to him, God is the "Evil" one.

Let's now address the opposing viewpoint:

While I do consider dualism to be absurdly silly, I find it equally silly to go about life attempting to achieve Śūnyatā or abandoning the ego driven dualistic self in search of perpetual "oneness".  To simply ignore or simply accept both sides of our dualistic nature, we cease to learn from either.  I believe that there is a good reason the ego and the illusory self exist.  I believe it exists for the purpose of spiritual development.  If we were all born without the ego, there would be very little spiritual growth.

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:) Experience is REAL.   Duality is rendered irrelevant by the self-evidential experiential existence of emotional pain and pleasure. These are available in this realm and in spirit_realms.

If PAIN exists, that responsible for it could be called "evil", "injudicious", "unwise"...  it does not really matter the label.

That which causes self or others pain is probably not something you want to do.  :)

Cause and Effect exist, and not all acts produce the same quality outcomes. The acts have equal VALUE from the universal perspective of expansion, but not equal APPEAL to the experiencer.

I prefer LOVE to HATE, and PAIN to PLEASURE. I guess I'm a dualist!  :):ph34r:

Peace and Love to you!

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Hi MC2, Buddhism is not a religion in the western sense. According to an online definition I found, a religion is the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. But there is no Buddhist God. Nor is Buddhism a form of atheism either, that is the disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods. I think Buddhism is often confused with religion because Buddhism provides a path of practice and spiritual development such that many who identify with it don’t feel a need for any religion.

And though I am no expert, I don’t think Buddhism teaches “the importance of eliminating the concept of dualism altogether.”, as much as guide the practitioner to see the grey in between. Thus Buddhism is sometimes referred to as the Middle Way. Polar opposites of dualism are generally viewed as in conflict. For example good vs evil, light vs dark, love vs hate (or fear). The Middle Way, as I understand it, is not about eliminating this way of thinking, but transcending it to see things in a more complete view of reality.

Speaking for myself, I feel drawn to Buddhism, and I have no desire to abandon the ego. The ego is, as I think about it, what provides me a sense of being a unique individual. Which, perhaps ironically enough, is what allows me to perceive and appreciate unity. Think of it this way, a fish may live its entire life without a concept of, or appreciation for, water. Then one day it is pulled from the water and then released back into it. If for the fish, being in water was the sense of connection one calls unity, then being pulled from the water could be considered the ego.

The ego further provides the opportunity for individual expression. I love my ego. I learn much from having an ego. And I enjoy having an ego a great deal. There is indeed good reasons for the ego and the illusory self to exist. I believe as you do that it exists for the purpose of spiritual development. But I don’t know that the only spiritual growth can occur from the full amount of ego we are born with in this reality. And in any case, I don’t want to be limited or defined by my ego, as that is what I think can keep us from unity and unconditional love. And that being limited by ego would keep me in a perpetual state of suffering, much like a fish out of water.

Peace! :-)

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